The Deutsches Historisches Museum is located on the Unter den Linden Avenue near Museum Island in the center of Berlin. It was created in 1987 to commemorate the 750th anniversary of the formation of Berlin and its main purpose is to chronicle the entire known historical story of Germany.
The Zeughaus (arsenal) building in which the museum is housed, dates back much further than this to 1695 and is the oldest building on the Avenue. It was originally used as the Prussian military arsenal and has had a variety of uses over the years.
During World War II it was badly damaged. Renovations started after the war but these were extremely slow and it took many years to return it to its present condition. It is now one of the most magnificent buildings in Germany, especially renowned for its sculptures.
The exhibits trace the German history back to pre Roman times until recent years. The upper floor displays concentrate on Germany's very early history until the end of the First World War. Many artifacts are on display including documents, clothes, artwork, ancient sculptures, weapons and utensils. The lower floor depicts 20th Century history including the Nazi regime and the GDR eras. The facts are well presented and not skewed towards Germany.
As well as the main exhibit of German history there are also a variety of temporary exhibits displayed throughout the year. These are normally held in the new modern extension which was built behind the Zeughaus. It has a floor space of over 27,000 square feet and was designed by the American architect Pei.
For those interested in both ancient and modern German history, this museum is a must see.
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